Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

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Obama Will Not Meet With Critically Ill Mandela

Jun 29, 2013

President Barack Obama plans to visit privately Saturday with relatives of former South African President Nelson Mandela, but doesn't intend to see the critically ill anti-apartheid activist he has called a "personal hero."

The White House did not disclose any details for Obama's plans to meet the family in a brief statement issued upon Obama's first morning in South Africa during a weeklong tour of the continent. The statement simply said that Obama and his wife would offer their thoughts and prayers at the family's difficult time.

"Out of deference to Nelson Mandela's peace and comfort and the family's wishes, they will not be visiting the hospital," the statement said.

Obama told reporters on the flight to South Africa Friday that he was grateful that he, his wife and daughters had a chance to meet Mandela previously. Obama hangs his photo of the introduction he had to Mandela in 2005 in his personal office at the White House — their only meeting, when Obama was a senator.

"I don't need a photo op," Obama said. "The last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned about Nelson Mandela's condition."

Obama will be just a couple miles from the hospital where 94-year-old Mandela has been for three weeks after being admitted with a lung infection. The U.S. president has a bilateral meeting and news conference with President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings, where Mandela was inaugurated as the country's first black president in 1994 after 27 years behind bars under racist rule.

Obama has said the imprisoned activist's willingness to risk his life for the cause of equal rights helped inspire his own political activism. Obama said his message during the visit will draw on the lessons of Mandela's life, with a message that "Africa's rise will continue" if its people are unified instead of divided by tribe, race or religion.

"I think the main message we'll want to deliver if not directly to him but to his family is simply a profound gratitude for his leadership all these years and that the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with him and his family and his country," Obama said on his flight into the country.

Obama also is paying tribute to the fight against apartheid by visiting the Soweto area Saturday afternoon for a town hall with students at the University of Johannesburg. At least 176 young people were killed in Soweto township 27 years ago this month during a youth protest against the apartheid regime's ban against teaching local Bantu languages. The Soweto Uprising catalyzed international support against apartheid, and June is now recognized as Youth Month in South Africa.

The university plans to bestow an honorary law degree on the U.S. president, while protesters are planning demonstrations against U.S. policy on issues including the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the war in Afghanistan and global warming. Hundreds marched to the U.S. Embassy on Friday, carrying signs that read: "No, You Can't Obama," a message inspired by Obama's "yes, we can" campaign slogan.

Obama, the son of an African man, has been trying to inspire the continent's youth to become civically active and part of a new democratically minded generation. Obama hosted young leaders from more than 40 African countries at the White House in 2010 and challenged them to bring change to their countries by standing up for freedom, openness and peaceful disagreement.

Obama wraps up his South Africa stay Sunday, when he plans to give a sweeping speech on U.S.-Africa policy at the University of Cape Town and take his family to Robben Island to tour the prison where Mandela spent 18 years.

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